Maggie Rogers is just days away from releasing her highly anticipated debut album, Heard It In a Past Life, and in celebration, the singer-songwriter gathered her fans together for an intimate album release party.
With the help of Spotify’s Fans First program, Rogers’ 50 biggest supporters were invited to the what is deemed the “original Magic Castle,” the Brookledge theater inside a Hollywood Spanish-style house surrounded by a mystical garden of trickling streams, knick knacks and funky gargoyles.
A woman who lives in the home — a descendant of magician Bill Larsen Sr. — gave the crowd some history of the eerie room, explaining that for many years, magicians would come there to hang out and display their latest performances for each other. Entertainment legend Orson Welles even had his own sofa, where he would sit to seek props for his movies.
The enchanting scene could not have been more perfect for rising star Rogers, whose own career path has been a magic of sorts. The 24-year-old became a ubiquitous sensation following her captivating Saturday Night Live debut in early November, and she soon hit the road with Mumford & Sons. The whirlwind success seems to have hit the freckle-faced Rogers with a pure sense of happiness, as she fought tears while introducing herself to the crowd. “Hi, I’m Maggie. Thank you for coming,” she nervously giggled before getting misty-eyed. “Today is the first day I get to celebrate this crazy thing, which is, I made a record I really love and it’s coming out and I’m really excited.”
“I didn’t know anyone would show up,” she said humbly to an assembly of smiling, applauding fans who wouldn’t miss an opportunity like this. Rogers’ bashful nature while quite literally coming face-to-face with those who adore her is a testament to the unspoken yet singular talent and charisma she displayed throughout the night.
She opened her set with a piano performance of an unreleased ballad, followed by playing her entire album from start to finish over the speakers for her fans, her team and her four best friends who couldn’t stop beaming with pride and dancing along to their squad member’s accomplishments. Among the airy, profound melodies were singles “Give a Little” and “Fallingwater.” “Light On” was a particularly memorable moment of the night, during which Rogers stood up, jumped around and danced wildly to the infectious beat, physically unable to contain her excitement over sharing music that means so much to her.
The tunes touched on every post-adolescent emotion, from the complexities of figuring out who you are to the innocence of having a crush. “This album feels like a way for me to actually introduce myself in my own terms, in my own way and in my own time,” she declared, met with whoops and cheers from the people who care about her most.
Heard It In a Past Life is out Jan. 18.